The Result of Decisions in Geneva In the spring and summer of 1954 French and Vietminh forces were battling fiercely over who would be in control of Vietnam. Things were beginning to look very bleak for the French forces trying to quell the uprisings of the Vietminh in their colonial possession of Indochina. General Navarre who headed up the military operations in that region was sure that if a major victory was not achieved soon then the situation in Vietnam might become out of control. So Navarre in an effort to solidify his presence in the north moved 12,000 troops into the city of Dien Bien Phu. Here the troops would have to defend an airstrip that Navarre was playing out to his advantage in the skies and a very important supply line. Meanwhile the Geneva conference had begun again in April. Vietminh general Giap decided to commence his attack on Dien Bien Phu while the conference was under way. If Giap could take the city of Dien Bien Phu and force the French into submission then he would have a great deal to work with in the Geneva Conference. This victory for the Vietnamese proved to be very influential in the accords, but it also showed how the Vietminh could actually defeat a modern European army. The Geneva Accords viewed this problem in Vietnam on May 9, 1954 and after considering that the Vietminh were in control of over 80% of the nation and the fact that the French were in desperate need of help with the matters of controlling their colonial possession of Vietnam. After reaching an agreement on July 19, 1954 the French and the Vietminh decided that a ceasefire was to take effect and a temporary line was drawn at the 17’Th parallel separating Vietnam in half. Allowing the Vietminh to control the north and the French the south. The accords gave everyone 300 days to travel to the side of the nation they desired, called for no new military bases or alliances to be set up, and stated that no new forces could be brought into Vietnam. The threat of influence from communism was in no was thwarted by the decisions drawn up at the accords and everyone saw the weight that the communism had in this situation. The United States recognized that the threat of Communism in Indochina was ever present and without French forces to occupy the region it was open to be manipulated by the ‘Iron Curtain’. Ho Chi Minh was seen in the eyes of Ike as the predecessor of Chinese and Russian communism in Indochina. Ike sensed that if the situation in Indochina could not be contained then a domino effect starting in North Vietnam and spreading to Cambodia and Laos. Ike also felt that Ho had the communist tendencies of his Russian and Chinese brothers but when in reality Ho had no intention what so ever to run Vietnam the way that China and Russia were. Ho was instead playing out his relationship with both nations in order to receive support and materials needed to fuel his movement. The United States was so eager to help better the matters in Vietnam that they would do nearly anything, well anything short of direct involvement to aid in this war against communism. The United States offered money, instruction, and supplies but stopped short of giving actual U.S. born and bred forces to fight. After a while the situation in Indochina appeared to be more important to the U.S. than the French or any of our allies. Even though the United States was trying to act indirectly in this situation that seemed to worsen daily the U.S. was beginning to get more ardent about keeping communism out than anyone else that was involved. Due to the United States’ overzealous nature in this matter the French decided to back out completely and left the U.S. in a most precarious position of weather or not to get involved directly in this war against communism. Thus began a war of epic proportions in which the nation with more money and technological advancements could not win.
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